Sunday, August 3, 2008

It would have worked with a glass spring

I've just been re-reading Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would make a picture based on this passage:

The glass clock ticked. It stood in the middle of the workshop's wooden floor, giving off a silvery light. . . Within the transparent case red and blue lights twinkled like stars. The air smelled of acid.

Now his point of view dived into the thing, the crystalline thing, plunging down through the layers of glass and quartz. They rose past him, their smoothness becoming walls hundreds of miles high, and still he fell between slabs that were becoming rough, grainy. . .

. . .full of holes. The blue and red lights were here too, pouring past him.

The Glass Clock of Bad Schüschein

This has, among other things, four layers of gears, three layers making up the bright spectrum lines (which mostly look white at small sizes), and two layers for the red and blue lights. The red and blue dots are arranged in hypocycloid and epicycloid patterns, respectively, each with three hundred and sixty dots making twelve loops. Just to be even more obsessively mathematical about it than I already am. (Possibly it should have been 365 dots, to make a year. I could try that, and re-render it. It would mean the spirograph patterns would lose their symmetry, but that might in fact be an advantage.)

There's a lot of messy detail in this one; it's arguably too busy. It looks lousy in this small version, okay at screen-size, and would probably be pretty good printed.

1 comment:

runnerfrog said...

It looks admirably cosmic to me.